NEHCC Sermon - 4-27-08 - What Are Your Intentions
NORTHEAST HOUSTON COMMUNITY CHURCH
Sermon – What Are Your Intentions
Scripture – 2 Sam 6:1-7
2 Sam 6:1-7
6 Again David gathered all the choice men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2 And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, whose name is called by the Name,* the Lord of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. 3 So they set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart.* 4 And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill, accompanying the ark of God; and Ahio went before the ark. 5 Then David and all the house of Israel played music before the Lord on all kinds of instruments of fir wood, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on sistrums, and on cymbals. 6 And when they came to Nachon's threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. 7 Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God. NKJV
Story: A minister was frustrated because members of his congregation would not use the nursery once said: “Crying babies and disruptive children, like good intentions, should be carried out immediately.”
As we are journeying through the life of David we are now in the beginning of his reign as King. 1 Samuel dealt with the early years of David’s life much of it while on the run from King Saul. David’s road was a tough road even after being anointed by God to be king. Now in 2 Samuel and this chapter we find David as king over all Israel. He is now thirty years old and some scholars have surmised that he had been on the run from Saul for about 8 years. Meaning he was about 20-21 when he killed Goliath. That may be surprising to some that is why I keep saying. “Don’t get your theology from televisions and movies which depict David as a young lad.
Leadership is not easy. Most people associate leadership and authority and even royalty as being great and grand. Those that are in leadership carry a weight that others do not see nor may not even be aware. In 2 Samuel 1, up until this chapter there have been wars, in-fighting and betrayals leading to this point. I reserve them for your reading as we attend ourselves to the lesson God has for us to learn today through the life of David.The Lesson I would like us to learn deal with good intentions.
After David defeats the Jebusites in Jerusalem and captures the city, the city then bears his name and is called the “City of David” (2 Sam 5:9).
Side note – Jerusalem was an Isralie city given to the Benjamints when they crossed over Jordan into the promised land. But because they did not wipe them out as commanded by God and allowed them to live in peace among them. The Jebusites grew in greater numbers than the Benjaminits and literally took over the city.
The consequences of disobedience to God may not fully appear for years. Ask any parent that find, later in life. that their children are doing the same destructive thing that they did years ago and now it is breaking their hearts.
With Jerusalem now set up as the seat of government, David, a man after Gods own heart, desires to have the Ark brought up to Jerusalem and all the people agreed.
This is no small matter for the Ark had been in the background for over 23 years. For 23 years it is spoken of only once when Saul inquired of it.
The people had turned away from God, they began to worship foreign gods, therefore God allowed them to be defeated by the Philistine and the Philistines took the ark back to their own country. Later the Israelites recaptured the ark but it remained in the house of Abinadab.
1 Sam 7:1 Then the men of Kirjath Jearim came and took the ark of the Lord, and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and consecrated Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the Lord. NKJV
This is indicative of Saul’s reign. God was not with him. Here was the greatest power any nation could have, but they put it off to a faraway place and gave it little thought. Saul tried to rule in his own power. They kept the ark away for so long that many forgot that it was there.
Sometimes we get away from God for so long that we forget the power He has for us. We stay away from His word, we stay away from prayers that all we have to depend on is our own strength and that is not enough.
But not David, God was in his heart. He wanted God (that which represented him) to be close to him and the people. Do you want God to be close to you? Some people don’t because they don’t want God to get in the way of the way they are living or the things they are doing.
They set out for the house of Abinadab and retrieve the Ark and place it on a cart to transport it to Jerusalem. The house of Abinadab housed the ark for over 23 years and I am sure that their house was blessing. The Lord God blesses those that bless Him.
Abinadab had two sons, Uzzah and Ahio. They guided the Cart, one in the front and the other on the side. Along the way the oxen pulling the cart stumbled and the Ark tilted and began to fall. Uzzah instinctively reached up to steady the Ark.
7 Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God.
Why was God so severe with him?
This was not just a good looking box. It was the “Ark of the Covenant” the “Ark of God”
1. The touching of the ark was forbidden to the Levites expressly under pain of death—lest they die; (Explain Num 4: 4-16) the ark was the most holy of the most holy things. It was called the mercy seat where God sat. There was nothing in the whole nation of Israel that was more holy than the Ark. That which is holy unto God can never be treated as common among men. Or communion items are Holy unto God, our podium is Holy unto God.
God’s requirement of the priest.
Ezek 44:23-2423 "And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. NKJV
2. Perhaps God saw presumption and irreverence in Uzzah's heart. Having the ark been so long in his presence his familiarity led him to forget the sacredness of it. Familiarity can cause us to lose the value, the sacredness and the holiness of that which pertains to God. I believe that if we are not careful we just go through the motions. Our prayers are more for those around us than for God. Our songs we sing can become more tools for entertainment that forms of worship. Our giving can become more of a form of sacrifice that a form of worship.
3. Uzzah died for an error that they were all guilty of, which was carrying the ark in a cart. Because it was not carried on the Levites' shoulders, Uzzah was singled out to be made an example. God makes examples of individuals for disobedience (Akin) and for obedience.
4. God would hereby strike awe upon the thousands of Israel, the ark was gone for so long that the people had to be reminded that the Ark was Holy. This would teach them to rejoice with trembling, and always to treat holy things with reverence and holy fear.
5. God would hereby teach us a lesson that we must internalize in our hearts and minds, that good intention will not justify a bad action. Don’t think that if we say, ”God knows my heart” that we will then be excused from the consequences of our bad acts.
If it was so great a crime for one to violate the Law of Moses pertaining to the ark of the covenant, If the ark was so sacred, and not to be touched irreverently, what is the blood of the covenant? Heb 10:29.
Heb 10:28-31 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,"* says the Lord.* And again, "The Lord will judge His people."* 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. NKJV
Quote: “Good intention will not justify a bad action.”
David’s intentions were very good, but the way he went about it was wrong.
There are people who have intentions of going to heaven, but the way they are trying to get there is wrong.
John 14:6 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. NKJV
There are those people with good intentions trying to obtain salvation, but they are going about it the wrong way.
Eph 2:8-9 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. NJV
David in his exuberance, failed to keep separate the bounds of government and the bounds of spiritual things. This is a very dangerous thing to do.
1 Sam 13:8-10 8 Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. 9 So Saul said, "Bring a burnt offering and peace offerings here to me." And he offered the burnt offering. NKJV
1 Sam 13:13 13 And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. NKJV
People that consider themselves powerful, persuasive, popular or wealthy often think they are entitled to pontificate on spiritual matters. We have Tom Cruise on Scientology, Oprah on God and Jesus and Politicians attempting to legislate morality.
Then we have religious leaders who have achieved these same things attempting to direct government. There are Pastors becoming politicians at every level and religious groups becoming political groups. Political messages from the pulpit by pastor and politicians behind the sacred podium
There is no doubt that all this is done with good intentions. When we consider these things the old saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions. “
Intentions can be identified in two categories.
1. The things we do intending to have a desired result that never happens.
2. The things we intended to do but never do.
Our passage dealt with the first. David and all the people were intent on doing a good thing but they did it their way not Gods way and the results were bad.
Then there is you and me. We know that we should be doing more for God in service and obedience and we tell ourselves and even tell God that we will but we don’t.
· We say we intend to give more in money, but we don’t.
· We say we intend to read our Bible more, but we don’t.
· We say we intend to get in a Ministry, but we don’t
· We say we intend to get our lives right but we don’t
If we continue to do the second, it will not be long before we fall victim to the first.
28 Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,"* says the Lord.* And again, "The Lord will judge His people."*
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings:
33 partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated;
34 for you had compassion on me* in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.*
35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
37 "For yet a little while, And He* who is coming will come and will not tarry.
38 Now the* just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him."*
39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. NKJV